Julie Phillips Elevated to Managing Director
Randle Communications, Sacramento’s top public relations and public affairs firm, has announced that Julie Phillips has been elevated to Managing Director. She will continue to hold the Vice President title while also expanding her responsibilities by leading day-to-day firm operations, including talent acquisition, resource management, business growth, and innovation. Phillips will report directly to President and CEO Jeff Randle and lead the senior management team of expert public relations, public affairs, and political professionals.
“Julie Phillips has been an integral leader of our firm for a decade, and this well-deserved promotion underscores her value to our clients, our team, and the critical role she will play for the firm as we continue to grow and expand,” said President and CEO Jeff Randle. “She has the perfect blend of experience, expertise, and vision to lead firm operations, having guided complex and high-stakes public relations and public affairs programs, while also cultivating trust with client partners and the respect of our team.”
Phillips started her career in the State Legislature, joining Randle in 2012. Since then, she has played a central role in the growth of the company, launching the firm’s award-winning digital public affairs program, spurring innovation in services, and leading public affairs and public relations projects for major California clients in health care, finance, housing, natural resources, and utilities.
“It’s a privilege to work with Jeff Randle and Mitch Zak to support the best strategic communications team in California and work on projects that have a profound impact on the future of our state. Randle Communications is stronger than ever, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to help lead the organization into the future,” Phillips said.
Phillips earned a political science degree from the University of California, Davis, where she was elected vice president of the Undergraduate Student Association. Phillips was recognized as one the Sacramento Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2017 and is an Alumni of Leadership Sacramento.
Emilie Cameron to Fuel Firm’s Next Phase of Expansion and Growth
Randle Communications, Sacramento’s top public relations and public affairs firm, has hired Emilie Cameron to bolster the firm’s next phase of expansion and growth with a renewed commitment to supporting Sacramento projects that will drive our region into the future. Cameron is a Sacramento native who is passionate about the region and well-known for her civic leadership, knowledge of the regional business climate and advocacy to improve the Downtown grid. An outspoken advocate for Downtown, she has led several high-profile public affairs campaigns in the region. Cameron will lead Randle’s local strategic communications campaigns as vice president, solidifying the firm’s senior ranks and complimenting its public relations, public affairs, ballot initiative and digital practices.
“Emilie Cameron is a highly-accomplished communications professional known for her strategic mindset, unmatched relationships and tenacity to get things done,” said President and CEO Jeff Randle. “She is wired into the Downtown grid, and her connections are only outpaced by her extraordinary leadership and knowledge of public affairs, public relations and economic development. She’s an expert at navigating complex and controversial issues with high-profile stakeholders and will bring that strategy and experience to support our clients and continue growing the firm.”
Cameron brings more than 15 years of communications experience to Randle, including a mastery of integrated communications campaigns, along with branding and marketing, economic development, public affairs and external affairs.
Most recently, Cameron managed an expansive portfolio of communications, marketing and economic development for Downtown Sacramento Partnership, where she successfully launched a $200,000 COVID-response education and recovery campaign, re-branded the Old Sacramento Waterfront, and garnered recognition of Sacramento in the nationwide “Value of U.S. Downtowns” study. She previously worked at public relations and public affairs firms in Sacramento where she gained specialized knowledge on issues in agriculture, education, energy, government, healthcare, finance, sports, entertainment, and transportation.
“Randle Communications has the best strategic communications team in California, and I’m elated to join experts who share a passion and commitment to excellence. I’m also thrilled to launch a local Sacramento practice and partner with regional leaders who are growing jobs, improving the community and creating the next chapter for Sacramento,” said Cameron.
Cameron earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Communications minor from the University of California, Davis, and calls Hollywood Parks her home. She is on the Regional Council for Make-A-Wish Northeastern & Central California and has been named Volunteer of the Year by the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce (2014), the PR Professional of the Year by Sacramento Public Relations Association (2014) and named to the Sacramento Business Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2012.
Randle Communications Grows Creative and Digital Teams with Key Hires
Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, today announced the hiring of three talented professionals to bolster the firm’s proprietary Randle Content Studio through innovative storytelling and best-in-class content development. Justin Garrido has joined the team as a video production assistant, and Sasha Levin-Guracar and Natalie Rochman have been hired as account coordinators.
“These hires represent the firm’s commitment to recruiting talented, high-performing professionals who are committed to excellence and teamwork,” Jeff Randle, President and CEO of Randle Communications said. “Justin, Sasha and Natalie expand and enhance our digital content capabilities and position us to continue leveraging cutting-edge communications tools for our clients.”
Garrido, Levin-Guracar and Rochman all bring digital-first strategies to their roles and enhance our in-house video and digital suite of services.
All three professionals have demonstrated their talent, hard work and commitment to the team. As video production assistant, Garrido supports the creation of news style, explainer, animated, feature, marketing and testimonial videos. He brings years of experience in video production, shooting and editing, and will bolster production capacity of the firm’s growing creative services practice. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from California Polytechnic State University.
Levin-Guracar has demonstrated a keen aptitude for digital content creation and strategy, supporting public relations activities across several Randle clients, including Golden State Water Company, Bear Valley Electric Service, Inc. and the Mattress Recycling Council. She graduated from the University of California, Davis.
Rochman supports the firm’s robust public affairs practice and plays a central role in Randle’s proprietary digital public affairs practice. Her portfolio includes work for the California Association of REALTORS®, Behavioral Health Action and Ducks Unlimited. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
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First-of-its-Kind Legislative Staff Survey Finds California’s Capitol Can’t Function Without Digital Advocacy
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento’s top public relations and public affairs firm, and digital advocacy pioneers, Randle Communications (Randle), today released its fourth annual Digital Influencer Report, which details how social media is used to advance policy in California’s legislative process. The report includes findings from a first-of-its-kind survey of legislative staff on the effectiveness of digital advocacy and highlights the most powerful digital strategies and tactics in a legislative environment defined by the lasting impacts of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 turbocharged the already rapid shift to digital advocacy in California’s Capitol,” Jeff Randle, President and CEO of Randle Communications said. “Our survey of legislative staff found that digital advocacy is more important than ever before and essential to moving the needle with lawmakers.”
The survey found that more than three-quarters of legislative staff survey respondents (76.9%) say digital advocacy is more important to advancing policy due to COVID-19 impacts. Here’s what legislative staffers are saying:
- “Digital advocacy has been one of the only ways for advocates, organizations, and legislators to spread the word on a bill.”
- “When people advocate for an issue on social media, it is just like them making a phone call to our office or an in-person visit. We read what they are saying, who is saying it, how frequently they are saying it.”
- “Now we pay more attention to digital advocacy but still give proper consideration to other forms of communications.”
Given these insights, our report outlines three important lessons:
- COVID-19 accelerated the new era of digital-first advocacy
- Virtual advocacy is here to stay
- Authentic content – and voices – are essential to digital success
“What we heard from legislative staff is simple: California’s Capitol can’t function without digital advocacy,” Lindsey Goodwin, Vice President of Public Affairs at Randle Communications said. “Those who win in the post-COVID-19 world prioritize an engaging content strategy that elevates authentic voices and recognizes that virtual advocacy is here to stay.”
Randle designs custom public affairs programs with strategic digital elements to help clients achieve their advocacy goals. Randle’s in-house creative and content team, the Randle Content Studio, includes proprietary News-Style Impact Videos, authentic social content development and a comprehensive toolkit of traditional media as well as paid digital strategies.
About Randle Communications:
Jeff Randle created Randle Communications in 2001 with partner Mitch Zak to give clients great service from senior-level professionals. Randle Communications is Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, specializing in strategic planning, media relations, coalition building, digital advocacy, ballot initiative campaigns and crisis management. Sacramento Business Journal has named Randle an A+ Employer every year since 2010.
Randle Communications Promotes Jennifer Kifer to Chief Financial Officer
Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm and a Sacramento Business Journal A+ Employer award winner for more than a decade, has promoted Jennifer Kifer to Chief Financial Officer. She has served as controller for the firm, helping manage day-to-day financial operations since 2013. Kifer’s portfolio expands to include strategy, resource allocation and leadership of the firm’s overall fiscal initiatives.
“Chief financial officer is an essential role as our firm continues growing, and Jennifer Kifer is the perfect leader to help us build on our success,” said President and CEO Jeff Randle. “As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, Jennifer will develop and execute financial management strategies that prioritize investments in innovation, talent, technology and operations to increase profitability across all practice areas.”
Randle has achieved record revenues and sustained growth through a targeted diversification of its client portfolio and aggressive development of a wide variety of communications services. This necessitated the need for a skilled chief financial officer, and given her significant contributions to the firm, elevating Kifer was an easy decision.
“Randle Communications is the gold standard in positive leadership, the services it provides and its strong business operations,” Kifer said. “I am honored to support this great team by ensuring it has the resources and technology to power continued innovation and unrivaled client service. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, Team Randle’s startup tenacity combined with a solid fiscal strategy will power our drive to achieve ambitious goals and sustained growth.”
Launched in 2001, Randle is a recognized industry leader. The firm takes pride in its “we, not me” culture and has built long-term client relationships in health care, water and electric utility, financial services, manufacturing, real estate, and environmental sectors. The firm’s proprietary digital advocacy practice, and the region’s only full-service creative Content Studio, give the firm strong competitive advantages in agility, creativity, and efficiency. Kifer will ensure the firm is resourced to build on its leadership position.
Prior to joining Randle, Kifer started Folsom Bookkeeping in 2004, providing financial business support to a wide range of individuals, small businesses, and sole proprietors throughout the Sacramento Valley. Kifer also worked as an associate accountant and financial analyst for Intel Corporation and controller for Sodexo-Marriott. In addition to her finance career, Kifer owns and operates Kifer Pool Service which she started in 2000 with her husband, Mike.
Kifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from California State University, Sacramento. She lives in Arden Park with her husband and two children. When she is not working, she can be found wakeboarding on Folsom Lake and snowboarding in the mountains.
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Learning from the challenges of a global pandemic
Adversity is a great teacher, and 2020 served as a master class in confronting and making the best of a global pandemic that’s disrupted the very way we conduct business. We are not past this crisis yet, but as we approach the one-year mark of California’s Shelter in Place Executive Order, and as we are hopefully witnessing the beginning of the end of uncertainty, I’ve been reflecting on what we’ve learned and what we can pass on to the larger business community; including the importance of culture, investing in and connecting with your employees, anticipating client needs and practicing agility.
When the Shelter in Place order hit, it was paramount that businesses discover new ways to maintain connection as a team and with their clients. Randle Communications, like other businesses in the creative space, develops our best work when it’s reflective of the team’s best thinking. The dynamism and synergy of a team environment is one of the major reasons why we operate a large office in the heart of downtown Sacramento.
With the prospect of being cut off from in-person communications last March, many businesses were left in a reactionary state, scrabbling to bridge the physical divide to maintain connection with each other and to address client business from home.
As business leaders reflect on the one-year anniversary, it’s important to cull some lessons from the crisis and harvest some benefits. That includes taking a closer look at how to minimize disruptions in the future.
Business continuity plans should be designed with an emphasis on communications and culture to succeed. Randle’s business continuity plan was built with our longstanding commitment to fostering a positive work place culture at its core. For 11 straight years, we’ve been rated an A-Plus Employer by the Sacramento Business Journal; the only company in Sacramento to receive that honor. It is a reflection of our tightly-knit workplace where people enjoy working and succeeding together. It was that commitment to culture that drove our quick response to the pandemic.
We invested in new platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to ensure continued work production, but also made it a point to host virtual gatherings that focused on personal discussions, happy hours, fun team building exercises and many other activities. Nothing can take the place of face-to-face interaction of course, but these opportunities helped foster and maintain cohesion and teamwork. A strong team will always produce extraordinary client results.
It’s been a long year. And now as we approach an anniversary that none of us will celebrate, I can say with certainty that our business is better because of the challenges we faced and greater connectivity we have created with our team.
Our internal communications are more robust than ever, and we have a renewed appreciation for the value of personal relationships that lead to better professional results. As a team, we have taken pride in staying focused and disciplined at a time when it would have been too easy to become distracted. That focus has meant success for our clients in the face of disruption and uncertainty.
No one would ever choose to endure the experience of the past year. But every challenge offers an opportunity for learning and growth. There is no COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate the business community. But there are proactive measures to be taken. My key takeaway is that businesses that make a long-term commitment to investing in a positive workplace culture are well-positioned to deal successfully with the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic. Culture makes a stronger, more resilient team, ready for 2021 and beyond.
Randle Communications Expands Digital Practice with New Hire
Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, today announced the hire of Sierra Fatlowitz as an account executive to continue driving the firm’s digital-first approach to public affairs and strategic communications. Fatlowitz’s addition reflects the firm’s record of recruiting talented professionals who bring innovative mindsets and digital expertise to client projects.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sierra to the team. Her digital talent, local public affairs experience and broad range of coalition expertise strengthens or team and the value we provide to our clients,” Randle President and CEO Jeff Randle said. “Sierra’s policy and political knowledge, along with her expertise in strategic communications, offers a great complement to our exceptional team.”
Fatlowitz will provide support across the firm’s public affairs, public relations and digital practices.
Before joining Randle, Fatlowitz, a Sacramento region native, led digital communications for San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, mayor of America’s 10th largest city. She worked hand-in-hand with local and state governments, influential stakeholders and elected officials to address key regional issues like homelessness, housing and the COVID-19 pandemic. Fatlowitz also supported major crisis communications response for the City of San Jose during power outages, floods and wildfires.
“Joining Randle Communications feels like coming home,” said Fatlowitz. “I am excited to start my next chapter at Sacramento’s top PR firm working on critical issues impacting communities across California.”
Fatlowitz is a graduate of San Jose State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations.
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Seasoned Political Strategist Nanette Farag Promoted to Vice President of Political Affairs at Randle Communications
Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, announced today that Nanette Farag has been promoted to Vice President of Political Affairs. Farag, one of the state’s leading strategists, has turbocharged Randle’s political practice and strengthened its premier public affairs team as a key member of the firm’s leadership team.
Farag joined Randle in 2019, bringing veteran leadership and extensive campaign, research, coalition development, voter targeting and digital and paid media experience. She is both thoughtful and tenacious, blending battle-tested practices with today’s most innovative tools and techniques to win political campaigns and public affairs fights. Farag’s forward-thinking approach has produced extraordinary results overcoming the challenges associated with COVID-19 and helping shape the future of political strategy and strategic communications in a virtual world.
“Nanette is a smart, tough and relentless team player who wins by executing successful campaigns rooted in innovative approaches and strategies,” Randle President and CEO Jeff Randle said. “COVID-19 has changed the face of advocacy, and Nanette is ahead of the curve. She is shaping the future of communications to help win statewide and local elections across the state and help legislative advocates win policy debates at the Capitol. Nanette makes her teammates better and reinforces our standing as one the best and most respected public relations, public affairs and political consulting firms in the country.”
Since joining Team Randle, Farag has delivered big wins for firm clients. She led the campaign to defeat a local recall effort in northern California, while in southern California, she helped qualify a local ballot measure to save health care in a rural community while under shelter-in-place orders. Farag also works closely with a major health system to execute cutting-edge community engagement initiatives that strengthen relationships with local governments and nonprofit organizations. She also leads Randle’s coalition efforts to defeat a 2022 statewide ballot initiative and to protect MICRA to ensure Californians continue to have access to health care.
“I am thrilled to work with the best in the business at Randle Communications to develop winning campaigns for our clients,” Farag said. “Effective campaigns are built on informed, forward-looking strategies, disciplined execution and powerful messaging that meets voters where they are. With an eye toward 2021 and beyond, I am excited to expand our political practice with passion and expertise while delivering success.”
During the last two decades, Farag has held leadership positions in strategic operations, political campaigns and external relations for political candidates and elected officials on a statewide and regional level. She has secured victory in some of the state’s most targeted races, overcoming overwhelming electoral disadvantages through a combination of data analytics, strategic coalition development, diverse messaging strategies and real-time performance-driven analysis. Those campaigns resulted in improved public image, name ID and issue association at the district, state and national level.
Farag holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from California State University, Sacramento. She lives in West Sacramento with her husband, Ryan Endean, her stepdaughter Ashley and their rescue dog, Holly. Nanette is a committed community volunteer. She and her husband devote substantial time working with local nonprofits and animal rescues, fostering abused dogs and placing them in forever homes.
Randle Communications Powers Up Utility Practice; Mike Gazda Promoted to Vice President, Utility Practice
SACRAMENTO – Randle Communications (Randle), one of Sacramento’s top-ranked strategic communications firms, announced today that Mike Gazda has earned a promotion to Vice President, Utility Practice. Since joining the firm in 2013, he has helped lead Randle’s growth into a premier communications advisor to state-regulated utilities in California and throughout the Western United States. During this time, he has led a team that supports water, wastewater and electric utility clients, providing strategic guidance and full-service communications support. In his new role as Vice President, he will be responsible for the health and growth of Randle’s utility practice and continue to play a key role as part of the firm’s Leadership Team.
“Mike Gazda has become one of California’s top utility experts, understanding how to communicate complex water and electric utility information to customers, regulators and the media,” Jeff Randle, Randle Communications President and CEO said. “He is meticulous and strategic, blending traditional public outreach with cutting-edge digital media to help major utilities reach customers. Mike is the leader we need to grow the utility communications practice, ensuring our clients stay at the forefront of the industry.”
Gazda leads several of the firm’s high-profile clients, including Golden State Water Company, Liberty Utilities and Bear Valley Electric Service. He specializes in customer, stakeholder and internal communications, using video and digital tools alongside earned media and executive positioning to tell meaningful stories that inform about clean water, reliable power and well-maintained infrastructure. He has also led the firm’s work to create a Public Safety Power Shutoff communications framework to protect communities should wildfire or disaster strike.
“I’m honored by this recognition and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead working with our team to continue delivering extraordinary results for our amazing clients,” Gazda said. “The culture at Randle Communications is unrivaled, and it’s a privilege to work with this team of innovators and professionals.”
Prior to joining Randle, Gazda spent nearly two decades in professional baseball building and executing media relations and crisis communications programs for regional, national and global audiences. During nine seasons in Major League Baseball, he worked with several of the world’s most recognized professional athletes to successfully navigate a diverse array of challenging issues. Gazda helped open Nationals Park and served as media relations director for the Washington Nationals from 2008-13, after three seasons as media relations manager for the Miami Marlins.
Gazda has Sacramento roots in professional baseball as well. He led the Sacramento River Cats’ communications program during the team’s first five seasons (2000-2004) and played a key role in the grand opening of what is now Sutter Health Park. Gazda remains active in the baseball community, serving as a coach and board member with Elk Grove Youth Baseball. A native of Pittsburgh, Gazda earned a journalism degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.